American Culture California Grammar Lesson of the Month International Student Life

Simple Future for Plans + New Year Resolutions for IEC@DVC Students

January 1, 2017

If you’re an international student in the Bay Area, there is so much to do and see in 2017! What are some of the things on your “to do” or “to see” lists for this year? Do you know which of the Simple Future tenses to use in order to express your plans for the coming year?

Simple Future for Plans

There are two ways to express the Simple Future in English: be going to and will.


is/am/are + going to + base verb (verb without “to”)

  • I am going to go shopping at the mall. Do you want to come?
  • Is she going to go to the mall?
  • She is not going to go to the mall.


will + base verb (verb without “to”)

  • The train will be here at 4 pm.
  • Will the train be late?
  • The train will not be late.

We use BE GOING TO and WILL for different situations. For example, WILL can be used to express strong intentions or make a promise. (Remember the Whitney Houston song, “I Will Always Love You?” It’s a perfect example!)

Since WILL is used for strong intentions, we use it to talk about resolutions. What are some resolutions you can have while a student at IEC@DVC?

Using “WILL” for 2017 Resolutions 

Make friends who do not speak your language


We love our diverse students and staff, and we especially love seeing them all exploring Northern California together!

Learning English is not just your academic goal while studying at IEC: it’s also your ticket to making friends from different backgrounds and cultures. The more time you spend with these friends outside of class, the more time you spend speaking English. Homework has never been so fun!

Using the Simple Future to express this:

“In 2017, I will try my best to make friends who do not speak my language.”

Find hidden gems in the Bay Area


IEC@DVC students attended a production at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco. What an experience!

You will of course spend time in SF’s Union Square, see the Golden Gate Bridge, and maybe even take a trip to Alcatraz or explore some museums in San Francisco. But SF and its surrounding cities have so much to offer in the form of unique shops, inventive restaurants, cool and hip neighborhoods, and fun events and festivals. Find the places that match your interests, personality, and tastes: there really is something for everyone in this part of California!

Using the Simple Future to express this:

“In 2017, I will take some time to explore the neighborhoods in the Bay Area.”

Set clear English speaking goals


It’s up to you to set your English learning goals and stick with them. You can do it!

It’s easy to say “I want to improve my English.” But how, specifically? Identify what you want to work on in 2017: perhaps you want to improve your pronunciation skills, or build your vocabulary, or learn more slang. After you identify your specific goals, you can develop a plan to reach them.

Using the Simple Future to express this:

“In 2017, I will learn a new phrasal verb every day.”

Using “BE GOING TO” for Plans in 2017

Since BE GOING TO is used for plans, it is the form we use to talk about our plans for 2017! What are you going to do or see this year while you are a student at IEC@DVC? Let’s look at some of the many things you can include in your IEC experience.

Take a road trip or weekend getaway


Is there anything cooler than a trip down the California coast?

Yes, there is so much to see and do in the Bay Area . . . but the rest of California (and the U.S.) is calling you to explore! Hop on a plane and take a weekend trip to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, or San Diego: each of these locations offers a different and exciting experience! Or, stay in Northern California and explore the natural landscapes, historical sites, and charming small towns.

Using the Simple Future to express this:

“Next month, my friends and I are going to fly to Las Vegas for the weekend.”

Involve yourself in activities


Attending a Kings Game in Sacramento? Yes, please!

IEC@DVC organizes many fun activities for its students. Take advantage of this service, and in the process make some friends (and memories)! In addition to seeing new places, these activities are an excellent way to practice your English outside of the classroom.

Using the Simple Future to express this:

“I’m going to go to the Kings Game later this month with IEC!”

Prepare yourself for the next step: college!


Are you ready for the next big step in life? IEC@DVC will help you make the transition!

For many students, graduation from IEC means the next step: college! What will college be like, and how can you prepare yourself for it? If you involve yourself in the community, attend events at IEC (such as visits from guest speakers), and continue to improve your English daily, then you will be well on your way to preparing yourself for the next big (academic) adventure.

Using the Simple Future to express this:

“I‘m going to attend tomorrow’s event at IEC: an Admissions Officer from DVC is coming to give us advice on how to prepare our applications.”


KEEP LEARNING: use this post in the classroom!


  • Answer this question: What are some of the Bay Area highlights you would share with a new student?
  • Answer this question: What are some things you are planning to do in 2017?


  • Let us know your resolutions or travel suggestions on Facebook!


  • Learn some of the other ways we use WILL and BE GOING TO by asking your IEC@DVC teacher or by reading this article from English Page.



Happy New Year to our students and staff. We wish you happiness, success, and lots of English practice in 2017!





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